Let me take you back to last week when running was, well, difficult. My legs felt heavy and my easy runs weren’t exactly easy. I was working a bit on the hard side to try and stay within my range for easy-pace and at the end of the day, just wanted to put the miles in. My body didn’t feel horrible, mind you. It just felt like I was putting in the effort but not generating any results.
But I kept running.
I thought about the things I love about running. I focused on the joy. I was outside. I was moving. I was connecting my mind and body. At times I felt really good, until I looked at my Garmin and noticed my pace was slow or inconsistent. And then the Gremlins wanted to offer their opinions about why my legs were feeling heavy and why my times were off and why I was suffering from some sort of malaise that had me watching obscene amounts of Law & Order reruns on Netflix. Their arguments usually circled back to their favorite question, “Who do you think you are?”
But I kept running.
I’ve been around this block before. There is something comforting when you finally learn that no feeling is ever permanent. This too, shall pass. And it did. Welcome to this week were my runs have felt fantastic and I’ve hit my times and paces. For the record my “fantastic feeling” runs don’t always look pretty. Those one-mile repeats on the treadmill at the gym? Not pretty. By the time I was done I looked as if I had wrestled with the treadmill, and came up on the short end of the decision. But I felt strong. I felt challenged. I felt all those great things I do when I run and train and workout. And those results? They were right were I expected them to be. In fact, a few runs were a bit better than projected.
And I keep running.
See, the easy part is to give in to the Gremlin voices, to see the difficult times and challenges as obstacles. It’s not that you don’t want to overcome the obstacles. It’s that you think you don’t have the time. Or the energy. Or the commitment. Or the strength. Or are good enough in the first place. The obstacles will surely come. You get to the other side by continuing to show up. You show up as your best self. Your best self will vary from day to day, from moment to moment. But your best self will always guide you to the place you need to be.